Unconfirmed reports claim the chicken was inserted by a witchdoctor. Photo: Courtesy.

In a bizarre incident, a whole chicken was found inside a woman's stomach who went to hospital complaining of stomach pains. The woman arrived at the Uvinza Hospital in Kigoma, Tanzania seeking treatment accompanied by her husband. Confirming the December 5, 2020, incident, Kigoma Regional Medical Officer Simon Chacha said doctors at the facility proceeded to extract the chicken from the woman's stomach. He said that area residents have since linked the incident to alleged witchcraft practices as tests conducted indicated that she was not pregnant. Chacha further revealed that she's set to be taken to the Maweni Regional Referral Hospital for further treatment.

“The woman is showing no signs of having been pregnant and tests indicate she has swelling in her stomach. I’ve directed for a surgery to be conducted so we can ascertain what happened but we know she won’t be able to bear children. Unconfirmed reports claim the chicken was inserted by a witchdoctor. We have reported the matter to the authorities and it's currently under investigations,” he said.

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The unnamed woman, on the other hand, said that she showed no signs of being pregnant and was shocked and scared when the chicken was extracted from her stomach.

Traditional medicine

According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Centre, in Africa, Tanzanians hold the strongest belief in witchcraft. The study conducted among 19 countries established that many Tanzanians believe making sacrifices to spirits can protect them from harm, with Christians and Muslims incorporating elements of African beliefs in their daily lives.

CNN reported that there are over 75,000 traditional healers in Tanzanian with most living in rural villages. Known as Babu, the healers’ advice is often sought before turning to modern medicine. There also exist government-certified herbal practitioners under the Traditional Healers’ Organisation.

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Ambilikile Mwasapile

Ambilikile Mwasapile. Photo: Courtesy.

Arguably, the most famous Babu, hundreds of thousands flocked to the traditional healer’s home in Loliondo following his concoction could cure HIV/AIDS. The retired pastor claimed ‘God appeared to him in a dream’ and informed him the herbs could cure numerous ailments. Consequently, many people are reported to have died after abandoning modern medication for Babu’s concoction. The pilgrimages to Babu’s far-flung home changed his fortunes as he replaced his mud single room with a three-bedroom self-contained bungalow and acquired a four-wheel-drive vehicle.